Skip to main content

Despite some big gifts, there's a shortage of green in Salvation Army's red kettles

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's the time of the year when the Salvation Army typically rings up donations that fund a share of its program throughout the year.

But this year, the Business Journal reports the Salvation Army is falling behind in the pace of donations that holiday shoppers drop into the traditional red kettles. A spokeswoman said the local nonprofit has raised $802,480 in kettle cash so far, compared to $1,039,000 at this time last year. The Salvation Army's goal for the Twin Cities is $3.4 million.

Spokeswoman Julie Borgen said a number of factors could contribute to the donation deficit, including "the early cold weather, and the fact that many people are carrying less cash than they used to."

A shortage of bell ringers, clothing donations

There are also fewer bell ringing shifts being taken this year.

While the Salvation Army has some 550 kettle sites around the metro area, only about one in 10 is staffed by a volunteer ringer this year, the Business Journal says. There were 330 bell ringers Thanksgiving weekend, compared to 450 last year.

The Duluth News Tribune reports a shortage of volunteer bell-ringers is slowing donations in the Twin Ports, too.

In a news release this week, the Salvation Army said volunteers are currently covering 66 percent of kettles. The goal is to have 80 percent covered.

It's not just cash donations that are down for the Salvation Army. WCCO Radio reports that clothing donations to Salvation Army thrift stores are critically low. The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis is 100 percent funded through store sales.

A spokesman said that donations typically bring in 3,000 pieces of clothing to be processed each day, but of late, that number has dropped to 500-700 pieces.

Still, some big donations

But not all the news is grim.

Two 1-ounce gold coins – each were more than $1,200 and wrapped in a bill – were dropped into Fargo-Moorhead area kettles this week.

The first one was dropped into a Red Kettle on Wednesday at a grocery store in north Fargo, Hornbacher’s Northport. The second showed up in a kettle at a Moorhead Hornbacher's.

The Salvation Army says this is the 12th year that a gold coin wrapped in a bill has been donated in the area.

In addition, the kettles in the Twin Cities have again been pleasantly surprised by mega-donations from an anonymous donor known as "St. Grand." The donor dropped $10,000 into a kettle outside a Lunds grocery store in Bloomington, making it the largest single cash donation ever to the red kettle campaign.

This is the fourth year in a row that a donor has made contributions of $1,000 or more to red kettles around Minnesota. Salvation Army officials refer to the person as “Saint Grand,” although they don’t even know if it’s just one person or more donating the money.

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.

image

Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.

ambulance

Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.

Related